Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-11-14-Speech-3-313"

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"Mr President, in speaking of the European Neighbourhood Policy we must remember, first of all, to support those governments that respect basic freedoms and human rights, and to encourage those rights in countries where they are not respected. This is of fundamental importance for the stability of the European continent. The list of countries included in the ENP is a long one. I would like to draw your attention to two countries, Ukraine and Belarus, which may be included in the ENP. Ukraine must be a priority for us, and current negotiations with that country should lead to the conclusion of an association agreement and then make it possible for that country to become a member of the EU. Such a policy should provide us with an insurance policy against Russia’s developing ambitions and yet another attempt to make Ukraine a vassal state. Finally, Belarus – the Commission’s initiative to invite Belarus as an observer to the ENP conference would seem to be premature. We should bear in mind that this country is still under the dictatorship of Lukashenko, breaching human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities. The EU would do better to provide more effective support for the people and the opposition within Belarus. A reduction in the cost of visas for Belarussians, and particularly for students, could be a positive signal in this direction, and the Commission should introduce this without delay."@en1

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